Notable Patio Series: The Client Meal

If all goes well, we still have at least another solid month and a half of patio season – even if the heaters need to come out. Throughout our Notable summer patio series, we have brought you our favourite patios across the county; first, our go-to pubs, then lounges, and, finally, we turn our attention to that perfect outdoor spot for the client meal.

You need to be strategic in planning a lunch or dinner with clients. Whether you’re talking serious business or simply brainstorming, you don’t want to be at a place that is too loud, distracting or busy to the point that people are obnoxiously bumping into your table. You also need to impress, because venue choices may affect their overall attitude before meeting you. As in, Ew, he want to meet there? I can’t stand the crowd at that place, vs. I can’t wait to try the new menu at that spot.

See what we mean? Here are some of our go-to options we, along with our wine of choice this summer, Aveleda, recommend in cities across the country:

Toronto: Patria

When we think Patria, we typically think winter or fall dinners or their to-die-for brunches. We didn’t think patio until this summer. Patria’s cozy and intimate patio (the restaurant itself is tucked away from the street) is sure to impress clients with an impressive sharable tapas menu, relaxed vibe and private feel. Not to mention, it’s located right in the heart of King West, so the options for post-dinner drinks are plentiful. Just don’t leave without trying their white sangria.

480 King Street West

Montreal: Il Cortile

Il Cortile is consistently described as one of Montreal’s best-kept secrets. The sophisticated Italian restaurant offers the feel of sitting in an authentic Italian village alley. The food never disappoints, and our favourites include delicious salads, creamy buffalo mozzarella on slices of fresh tomato, fresh bread and amazing coffee (yes, we notice these things) and desserts to keep that meeting going as long as you need to. Il Cortile’s 7-course prix-fixe menu is also ideal for those meals that require a little more time.

1442 Sherbrooke Rue O.

Calgary: Bonterra

Bonterra’s patio makes a reliable option for wining and dining clients. For starters, it is located behind the restaurant, offering a quiet respite that isn’t right on the street. The setting is beautiful as well, with a canvas shade roof (for those sunny lunch meetings) and hanging flowers. Although it has a distinctly fancy feel, it is also rustic, with its patio offering things like wood fireplaces and romantic hanging lights. Its authentic Italian offerings have something to please every palette – because Italian is always a no-fail option. Our favourite menu options? The grilled octopus, risotto, and the white chocolate cheesecake.

1016 8 St. S.W.

Vancouver: Bridges (located on Granville Island)

If you’re in the market to truly wow out-of-town clients, Bridges’ waterfront location, in the midst of all the False Creek action, truly takes the cake. Tables are numerous, set upon a sprawling deck that offers full-on sunshine. Accessing this central location is relatively easy, by car or via the convenience of a water taxi ($3 fee). They’ve got a great selection of cocktails, locally brewed beer and BC wines guaranteed to impress. Your clients will gush about the prime vantage point offered and you’ll be closer to wowing them into signing on the dotted line. 

1696 Duranleau Street, Granville Island

Cover photo: Bonterra